The Knesset Ethics Committee on Wednesday reprimanded HaBayit HaYehudi MK Mordhay Yogev for calling to raze the Supreme Court with a bulldozer.
After the Supreme Court ruled in July of this year to demolish illegally built homes in the settlement of Beit El, Yogev stated that “we have to take the blade of a D-9 [bulldozer] to the High Court of Justice.”
In its decision, published Wednesday, the Ethics Committee, which is headed by MK Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas), referred to the comments as “blunt and outrageous”, but mentioned it was Yogev`s first offense.
”The defense given to freedom of political expression of Knesset members is broad and includes harsh and inappropriate comments. Thus, this expression, despite being very close to crossing the line, does not justify levying any sanctions,” said the committee.
In response to the complaint that was lodged with the Ethics Committee by Zionist Camp MK Yoel Hasson, Yogev said he had used the term D-9 only as a metaphor, and that his words were in ”no way intended to call for violence of any kind against the court.”
Yogev was also censured for remarks he made against Supreme Court Justice Uzi Vogelman over his decision to freeze an order to demolish terrorists’ homes pending appeals.
Yogev had stated that Vogelman had “placed himself on the side of [Israel’s] enemies,” and said the injunction “defends the rights of murderers, thus preventing deterrent punitive measures and putting people’s lives at risk.”
The complaint over these comments was lodged by Zionist Camp MK Ksenia Svetlova, the ”OMETZ” movement and Boaz Shachar. In response, MK Yogev said ”when a judge expresses his personal opinion that it is neither proportional nor effective […] to destroy the homes of terrorists in a reality of terror attacks, this harms our security and serves our enemies.”
The Ethics Committee said in its decision that Yogev`s comments against the judge ”border on incitement” and constitute an attempt to ”delegitimize a sitting justice and by extension a legal decision.”